Nevin Harrison made Olympic history Thursday by earning the first ever Olympic gold medal in women's canoeing at the Tokyo Olympics. The 19-year-old had the best time in the 200m sprint in the heat, the semifinal, and the final, ultimately winning with a time of 45.932 seconds. Watching her paddle with such strength and determination makes her look so badass! We're totally inspired to kick butt at our next workout, even if we're not on a canoe.
Team USA hasn't seen a medal in canoe or kayak sprint since the 1992 Barcelona Games when Greg Barton took bronze, and this is the first time we've won gold. Not only that, but as this was the first time women's canoe sprint has been added to the Olympics, so it's huge for Harrison to be the first woman to win gold! Harrison was the only US canoe or kayak sprinter to qualify for Tokyo, and she is clearly dominating the sport.
Canoeing wasn't always Harrison's sport of choice. She was originally into track and field, running 100m and 200m sprints. But after being diagnosed with hip dysplasia at age 14, the excruciating hip pain forced her to stop. She was interested in canoeing at the age 12, and by 17, she had won her first historic world championship. And now she's a gold medalist!
Wow !!!!! Seattle native @nevin_harrison makes history and wins a gold medal at the @NBCOlympics in sprint canoe !!!! The @usacanoekayak world going crazy at a watch party in Gig Harbor, WA tonight!!!! pic.twitter.com/UVOCOX2Yzk— Chris Egan King-5 TV (@ChrisEgan5) August 5, 2021
Check out the USA Canoe/Kayak Team cheering her on at their watch party in the video above. And keep scrolling for more photos from this amazing competition.